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News My formula for who will win in 2012

  1. Aug 7, 2011 #1
    Many political analysts over-analyze the presidential election process.

    It's not even about a nation-wide shift to the left or right.

    Republicans vote Republican. Democrats vote Democrat. Independents vote for whoever is fashionable, so elections are heavily dependent on Independents.

    My theory:
    1. If the economy is doing well, the incumbent (or his successor in his party) is elected.
    2. If the economy is not doing well, the challenger of the opposite party is elected.

    1956 - Good economy, Eisenhower (R) re-elected.
    1960 - Economic slowdown, Kennedy (D) elected
    1964 - Economic progress, Kennedy successor Johnson (D) elected
    1968 - Johnson doesn't run, Nixon (R) elected
    1972 - Economy is doing well, Nixon (R) re-elected
    1976 - Economy is slowing down, Ford (R) loses to Carter (D).
    1980 - Stagflation. Carter (D) loses to Reagan (R).
    1984 - Economy recovers. Reagan (R) wins by landslide.
    1988 - Economy still booming. Reagan successor Bush (R) elected.
    1992 - Economic difficulty. Bush (R) loses to Clinton (D).
    1996 - Economy booming. Clinton (D) re-elected.
    2000 - Economy booming. Gore (D) won the popular vote.
    2004 - Economy recovers from a recession. Bush (R) re-elected.
    2008 - Economic meltdown. McCain (R) loses to Obama (D).

    (The charisma theory, that the most charismatic candidate wins holds some weight as Kennedy beat Nixon, Nixon avoided debates in his elections as he was uncharismatic, Reagan/Clinton were charismatic, while Ford/Bush who lost were not. But there are some problems with that. Charisma is dependent on a good economy. Bush was not charismatic, but he didn't need it to win in 2004. Carter was charismatic until stagflation. Reagan wasn't very charismatic in 1983 when there was long unemployment lines. Obama was very charismatic as a challenger in a recession, now that he is president during a bad economy, his charisma is dimming.)

    My prediction: If economy is still bad in 2012, Obama loses. If economy improves, Obama is re-elected.

    This is not the only reason, but it is a factor (and often in a big one) in all elections in our era.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 8, 2011 #2


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    I'm thinking more specific than just "the economy", to the unemployment rate. If it's still above 9%, Obama loses. If it improves to get below 8.5%, he wins. Just my opinion/best guess.
  4. Aug 8, 2011 #3


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    On the subject of substantive issues - jobs, GITMO, foreign policy - it's over, Obama loses. What remains are personal and tactical issues over which the Republican candidate could still lose. The Harry Reid vs Sharon Angle campaign is a good example. Reid's state is an absolute disaster economically - 14% unemployment, highest foreclosure rate in the country, and Reid had his "the war is lost" statement was following him around in a state w/ a significant military population and three bases. Yet Angle's inexperience and brashness gave Reid the ammunition to paint her as an extremist.
  5. Aug 8, 2011 #4
    I think there are 2 other variables; 1.) the specific Republican candidate, and 2.) the media's level of commitment to re-elect their favorite President - the variable to number 2 will be the identity of the Republican candidate.

    One certainty - if Palin or Bachman are on the ticket - the media will go bankrupt to prevent them from winning.:rofl:
  6. Aug 9, 2011 #5
    Quite honestly I've always thought Obama is the best Republican candidate the Republicans have

    I mean seriously:

    You are still in Iraq and Afghanistan
    You still have the Patriot Act and Gautonimo Bay
    Reformed health care is very similar to Mitt's plan
    No banking reform
    His economic advisors are pretty well the same dudes as the ones who got you into your current mess
    Extended Bush tax cuts

    Did I miss anything?

    Obama is the perfect Republican.
  7. Aug 9, 2011 #6
    Jon Stewart interviewed an author last evening (a Tuft's prof) that discussed results of his research on the ideal Presidential candidate. He indicated that people, like FDR, who are mildly Manic are very creative in difficult situations and when Depressed are quite sympathetic. He said "normal" people don't have these abilities.

    When Stewart asked him which Republican candidate was 'creative enough' to be President - he said they were all too normal.

    I'm not "creative enough" to make this stuff up - really!
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